Monthly Archives: February 2012

Keeping it Going – The Woes of Losing Players

When folks talk about losing key players in their guild, they’re often talking about raiders or officers. Once in a while, they’re talking about that guy who has every character you could ever want, and is always willing to jump in a battleground or dungeon with whatever function it is you can’t seem to quite get enough of.

But in a tiny guild, that can be different. It can just be the guy who plays a lot and is always there. Y’know, the guy who happens to play the only healer in the guild at max level.

We had just started doing heroic 5-mans in our small group of players with level 85 toons. And only two tries into our first heroic, the physical world reared its ugly head. Our healer, and the official leader of those heroic runs, had work take him away from the game. That was six weeks ago. About the same time, our hunter became a daddy, and we haven’t seen much of him, either.

For a tiny guild, that essentially killed our runs. We struggle with the content because we’re only just barely geared enough for it (and, frankly, we have a very poor mix of dps with a rogue, ret paladin and hunter). We don’t want to be carried by overgeared players, or, frankly, annoy people who expect a nice easy run through their heroics. 

In the meantime, we’ve got two more level 85 players in the guild, and we could start back up again in normals, but it just hasn’t quite been meshing.

Of course, we struggle on, but at this stage, it’s nigh impossible for a level 10 guild to recruit and retain anyone. We don’t have much to offer; and we tend to actually be a fairly introverted and quiet guild. Periodically we’ll get chatter going in guild chat, but mostly it’s “hello”, “good night” and the achievement congratulations.   I generally try and chat with new recruits, but it often feels very one-sided; sometimes even met with dead silence; and I’m not the best at small talk, either, so…

I’d like to do more; but I struggle with the fact that I should be shilling for my guild to grow it; and that I want to play the game. I don’t sit around in cities doing “nothing” well; and I can’t stand having trade chat on when I’m not actually trying to sell or trade something!  I know, these things mean that I have reconciled myself to a tiny guild – at least until I’m lucky and can draw in an extrovert who loves talking to new peopole and wants to become my recruitment officer.

But, really, growing the guild is not the point of this article. It’s certainly one way to address the problem, to alleviate the need for a particular player to be able to play for the rest of us to get to do some of the things we want to do.  Instead, I have to figure out incentives to get people to play the game. I managed a good one very recently – the race between our newest level 85 toons: Gurdrid, Yawondergirl and Jackoby.

And it worked fantastically! Jackoby and Yawondergirl are still online very nearly every evening – up from the occasional visit other than Thursday night dwarf runs. There’s also the Thursday dwarf runs, but the dwarves are hitting that low period where they’re not going to be leveling through dungeons as fast.

I’ve thought of other things, like guild achievement parties, or transmog contests… but to be honest, we’re just not big enough for that to be something that actually works very well for an extended period of time.

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6th of 6th Meme

If you don’t follow WoW blogs, you may not know about this meme, loosely based on the 6-degrees concept. If you have, you’ve been seeing a fair amount of creativity in coming up with these screenshots, either to get a good shot, get to WoW shots, or get to show off some pictures (or, y’know, just think outside the box, as it were).  Dreamy from [Drunkard’s Regalia] tagged me, and so here it is.

Anyway the rules of the meme go like this:

  • Go into your image folder
  • Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
  • Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couln’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
  • Challenge six new bloggers.
  • Link to them.

The problem for me is that I’m not actually a big screen shot taker; which means my WoW folder doesn’t have a lot of screen shots… and because of that, I don’t have any sub folders.

Then I remembered that I read somewhere that someone suggested going six across and six down in their screenshot folder to get the random pic.  But… I only have 35 screen shots. Really! I need to get to work!

So, since I couldn’t do that, I decided to show you my sixth cropped and renamed screenshot, which is a lovely shot of Gurdrid in the login screen from shortly after her introduction.

Gurdrid

I love how the guild tabard goes with her hair, and how her shoulders and shield both work with that goldish look. Not bad for not-mogged gear, eh?

Then, for my second six, this is my sixth uncropped screenie. It’s a picture I took for my future silver dragon collection, I think Gurdrid was actually around level 55 or 60 at the time, but it may have been later. I can’t quite tell from her gear.

I really like how the Behemoth looks like he’s about to bat her out of his way, and how she’s just standing there, ready to take it. I even kinda like the firefly buzzing away behind Gurdrid. I do wish I’d gotten my cursor out of the way, though.

Now, on to the tagging. For this, I’m going to go peek through my reader. Hopefully I’ll find enough folks who haven’t been tagged yet:

Alto of Alto’s Gold”ish” Advice

Beruthiel of Falling Leaves and Wings  (what, no one’s tagged Beru? That can’t be right!)

Zinn of Jinxed Thoughts

Bauxite of Aspect of the Dork (who has probably never heard of me. This should be fun!)

Morrigu of Arsenic and Old Mooncloth

Glea of  The Moonlight Muser

Have fun folks!

 

 

 

Character Interview: Shoryl

I’m starting a new series today. Interviews with my characters. While I don’t RP in game, my roots are in both tabletop RPGs and video games. I’ve learned in my years of WoW playing that if I can’t connect with a character on that level. They have to have history, and opinions, or I just don’t care enough about them to care what happens to them.

How did you come to be a paladin?

I was essentially born to be a paladin.  While Mom was a priestess, she did come from a long line of both priests and paladins. Dad’s entire family are dyed in the wool paladins.  I can’t think of a single uncle or grandfather who wasn’t a paladin, and there’s no shortage of women in the line who took up the hammer, either. You could say that it’s in my blood.

I remember my grandfather joking when I was just a little girl that in our family, once you become a paladin, you even bleed the Light.

Had I been born in different circumstances, though, I’m pretty sure I would have become a warrior; but I do love how much power I can pull into myself with the Light, and how good it feels to rain retribution on Azeroth’s enemies.

So, you’ve always known you’d be a paladin?

Well, Mom wanted me to become a priestess, but I think she wanted me to stay safe. My older sister, Taoiseach, became a paladin. She was there when the heroes went to defeat Ragnaros the first time. She was a healer back in those days.  Something changed in her, though, when she went to Northrend. I don’t know if it was something with her and Arianrose (a Draenai she met sometime while we were trying to stop Kael’Thas in Outland); but one day they went to the Darkmoon Faire and they never came back. Dad keeps her armor from the old days in top condition. I think he hopes that she comes back some day, and the Lawbringer armor is just gorgeous.

But, back to the question – I knew I’d be a paladin. I was always a rough-and-tumble kid, and my best friend growing up (and to this day), Sonaira, is also a paladin. We used to spar all the time. Now, we get plenty of practice in the field, so there’s not so much point to sparring.   I remember when our fathers took us to the Cathedral to be sworn in. The Cathedral was somehow grander that day. The weather was perfect, and… it just all felt so right. 

You’ve excelled with the training and retribution style approach to combat, but have you ever considered training either the protection style or delving deeper into healing magics? 

I’ve thought about it, but there’s not as much call for protection , and I really love the power of retribution. After Taoiseach went missing, I pretty much gave up on considering trying healing magic. I’m pretty sure it would be too stressful for Mom.  

What led you to join the Higher Authority guild?

This wasn’t particularly serendipitous. Sonaira’s father used to lead the guild, and so she was obviously going to join. I had nowhere else to go, and they’re good people, so I joined as well. 

And now you’re their Guild Leader, how did that come about?

When Sona’s dad retired, I took up the mantle of leadership. I think many people expected Sonaira to do it, but we both knew I’m better suited to the role.

Leading a small guild of adventurers is actually relatively easy, it’s mostly the time spent finding the good candidates that matters, and I take special pride in introducing them around to the others. There are a lot of family ties among members of the guild. Breige and Sruith are sisters, and their cousin Gurdrid recently joined as well.

What do you do most now?

I like to help out around town. I cook and fish, so I help the locals with what they need pretty regularly. I’ve been trying to earn the trust of a few of the factions trying to fight off Deathwing and the Twilight’s Hammer, but I just don’t travel as much as I used to. Most recently, I’ve been helping Gurdrid advance her blacksmithing skills by doing some mining here and there. Having the skill to wrestle a flying mount certainly helps with that task, and it gives me an opportunity to let the several that I own stretch their wings.

Do you have any hobbies?

My father now runs a small stable for the children of Stormwind’s nobles, and I’ve taken to collecting exotic mounts for him to show off. He’s also a bit of a practical joker. It was great fun to watch when the Archbishop stopped by and saw one of the orphans he’d taken a personal interest in riding Lord Rivendare’s Deathcharger. 

Give us an example of a day at home.

I’m frequently up quite early. I like the quiet of the Stormwind Docks in the morning. I’ll go and watch the ship from Teldrassil come in, as well as the supply boats headed out to Northrend. After a while, I’ll go down to the canals and talk with the fishmongers, or other shopkeepers.

Once folks in the guild start waking up, I’ll go see if Suthine’s made breakfast yet. She’s a heck of a cook, as well as an astounding healer. Then I’ll do a little bit of guild business, or go mining, or maybe cut a gem or two.  I’ll visit my father and help with the horses, surprising children by letting them ride my albino drake, who is actually quite friendly. 

What one place would you like to go back to, that you’ve visited?

There are so many to choose from, but with Hellscream leading the Horde now, many of the places I might want to go to relax are just too war torn to be really enjoyable. I found Ashenvale a delight the first time I was there, but the stories Kerridwen tells of how the goblins have helped advance Hellscream’s agenda, well, I don’t think I want to go back now.

So, I think I’d have to say Un’Goro Crater. It’s lush, and while the wildlife there is dangerous, and there’s a Silithid hive there, these things are known, and contained. Also, I’m fascinated by the Titans, and curious about the similarities between Un’Goro Crater and Sholazar Basin.

A Toon for All Occasions

So, on one of the blogs I read (and now I can’t find it!), someone mentioned trying to play a bit differently than the “typical” mindset of hurry-up-and-level so you can get to where the game begins.  And, if you’ve been following me on twitter, (or been reading my comments) you know that I’ve been racing two of my guildmates to level 85. 

I want to give you a little bit of the history of my playstyle, so you can see that this is actually some pretty serious outside-the-box playing for me.  Like many other bloggers, I’m an altoholic.  I have four level 85 toons:

  • Shoryl, who is cohort to Sonaira, and my face for Azeroth. 
  • Breige, a hunter, who I thought I might like to spend time dungeoning with, but who ultimately I find too fiddly to learn to play. She is my bank/AH toon. 
  • Kerridwen, my druid, who was my first toon to level through the new 1-60 zones. She got each of the Loremaster achievements in order (Kalimdor, EK, Outland, Northrend, then Cata) and stayed in the areas to complete them before moving on to the next. Because she overleveled most of the content, I failed to learn to play her well. I was intending for her to be my solo achievement hound. But now she sits, does her transmute when I can remember to do it, and farms herbs when I need them for Sruith’s inscription. 
  • Taoiseach, my first max level toon, Shoryl mark I, and now a blood elf.  She’s intended for me to see the Horde content. Someday she might actually get to it.

I have a full stable of lower level toons I actually intend to play.

  • Oquae has my Zhevra. She was supposed to be my next max level character… before Breige and Kerridwen… For that matter, before the move to Ysera. She’s the only toon besides Taoiseach that made the move.
  • Margueryn is my baby warlock. I was inspired to start a new lock by Poneira of Fel Concentration. I plan to level her when I want to level again after this big push I’ve been on with Gurdrid, using Pon’s advice. (I also plan to level her on the TV, so Sonaira can watch while she’s doing other things)
  • Sruith is a part of the dwarven dungeon crawl – there’s a great out-of-the-box levelling method!
  • Sveala is a shaman I was working on leveling for the purpose of giving our guild healer, Suthine, a break. But she’s rather stalled at level 50, due to other projects.
  • Vijin is one of many attempts at a horde toon – one that may never make it, but we’ll see.
  • Gurdrid. My third paladin. Who is in a race to level 85 with her two guild mates.

As you can see, I generally created my toons to fill specific needs of either the guild or my playstyle. I didn’t create Gurdrid to race Jack and Yaw to 85, it sort of ended up happening.  I created Gurdrid because I love me my pallies; and Shoryl is tied to Sonaira, because we’ve learned if we play them separately much, we don’t connect well.    I decided to spec her prot so I could dungeon some… you see, I’m impatient, so I don’t do dungeons on my dpsers unless I can team up with a healer or tank.

So I started playing my baby paladin on December 19 (based on when she got her Collector’s Edition feats of strength).  Less than two months later, I’m going to have a level 85 prot paladin. This is the fastest I have ever gotten a toon to max level, even when that was what I was going for on Taoiseach in her Shoryl days.    I’ll admit that part of it is because I’ve already got two toons with the Loremaster title (Shoryl got EK and Kalimdor before the Sundering; and Kerridwen has the new version of the achievement)

I’ve even been contemplating taking Gurdrid on a path towards Raid Finder; which would get me back into raiding at all for the first time since BC.  But, I’m still undecided about that part. Gurdrid will be my new achievement chaser – particularly since a few achievements (namely the pet and mount achievements) will likely be easier with a tank that PuGs.  I also intend to use Gurdrid to help guildies get in dungeons for either power leveling or just to have fun getting some gear.  While I encourage people to take the time to do dungeons with at level groups, sometimes that doesn’t fit into their playstyle for various reasons. And I like blowing up low level dungeons anyway. 🙂

How do you play outside the box; or even outside your box?